The First Battle of Tsiv River had taken place in the opening days of the war. It had happened before the trenches had been dug. The Ethslin Army managed to take positions on the Vledscan side of the river and held it. After a few months, the trench systems had developed, and the Vledscan army decided to take back the river. This was the Second Battle of Tsiv River. The battle was known for its ferocity. Some units found themselves with only a few survivors in the chaos. The battle was a complete success for the Vledscans and they managed to drive the Ethslin Army back across the river. They held the river until the Battle of Northern Gate made the whole Vledscan Army withdraw to more defensible positions. In 1328, the Vledscan Army decided that they had mustered enough troops to retake Tsiv River. The General in charge of the operation said that this would be the hammer blow that would break the Ethslin Army for good. Most commentators after the war said that it was the last desperate blow of a dying army.
On 16 June 1328, the heaviest barrage of the war began. It started off slow. Enough to get the Ethslin units to take cover. But, as the week wore on, the shelling got worse. The 202nd had to advance up to the frontline under this shellfire. They only suffered about five percent casualties on the way to the line. By 23 June, the shell fire had reached the peak of its crescendo. About a million shells were fired on the 40 kilometer section of front that day, concentrated at a strong point about 5 kilometers North of the 202nd. This heavy shellfire required hundreds of kilometers of supply trains. And on those trains, the Vledscans brought in a new kind of weapon to be fielded in the battle. While they wouldn’t win the war for the Vledscans, they certainly changed the way war would be fought in the coming decades.
The 202nd was one of the first units to encounter this new weapon. The Vledscan army sought to punch a hole through the Ethslin lines, flank around the strong point, crush the resistance inside, then move into open war. When the initial attack failed, five months of brutal fighting ensued.